How to improve ventilation in improved cookstoves that burn biomass fuels
Burning of biomass fuels is the most important source of exposure to air pollution in low- and middle-income countries. Biomass fuel smoke contains harmful particulate matter in the inhalable diameter <2.5 µm and carbon monoxide. Globally ~50% of all households and ~90% of rural households use biomass fuels as the main source of energy. Current research and implementation programs worldwide have focused on the use of rocket stoves that are more efficient to burn biomass fuels but reduce household air pollution only slightly. While it would make sense to transition poor societies to cleaner fuels like liquid petroleum gas or electricity as a means to reduce air pollution, many societies do not have the financial resources to provide or even support universal use of clean fuels. Intermediate solutions are needed. Any improvement in the efficiency of chimneys to extract harmful particles out the house may result in important health benefits. As such, our team is interested in the design, development and production of an improved chimney with a hood that can efficiently extract particulate matter and carbon monoxide using excess heat/and or energy generated by the improved stove. At least 2 prototypes are being considered and we would like to pilot the use of these improved chimney hoods in 5-10 homes at our field setting in Puno, Peru. The proposed research placement takes advantage of the infrastructure and ongoing data collection efforts at our field site.
Global Health Mentor: William Checkley, MD, Medical Director, Johns Hopkins Medicine International
Two local staffmembers (Elba and Ida Luz) conducting interviews in the field with a participant. This is around 6 AM:
A typical breakfastmeal in the campo: vegetable potato soup:
Me and my research partner, Jackie, conducting observations in the field (el campo) of a morning cooking routine using an improved stove at around 6 AM:
Us inside a cooking hut doing a morning and lunch observation; the participant brough us a traditional Peruvian "soltera" hat that she had made for her daughter and wanted us to try it on for photos:
A husband and wife cooking breakfast in the morning in the campo: